People often view reading as a wearisome task to do, although for bibliophiles, it is like an escape from the mundane reality of life.
For that matter, if they are given an ambience that soothes your soul and gives you the feeling of an alternate reality, it makes the time spent even more worthwhile.
Many college or public libraries might make you feel claustrophobic, but some of them will just leave you astounded. Not with these amazing libraries!
The 5 Amazing Libraries You Can Visit
Here is a list of the top 5 of the world’s prodigious and magnificent storehouse of books.
1. The Library of Alexandria – Alexandria, Egypt
The great comprehensive and amazing library was once considered one of the largest and the most important libraries of the ancient world. The library which was one of the Seven Wonders of the world was accidentally burned down by Julius Caesar, 2000 years ago. Recently in 2002, the library was rebuilt with $ 220 million and now operates as a planetarium, manuscript restoration lab, cultural centre, art gallery and museum and conference centre.
2. Austrian National Library – Vienna, Austria
The biggest library of Austria houses collections of more than 12 million items including ancient manuscripts and archives. Like the Library of Congress in the US, the National Library manages all the publications that appear in Austria. It is now located at Hofburg Palace and the baroque Palais Mollard – Clary although it’s original location was Prunksaal.
3. George Peabody Library – Baltimore, Maryland
The George Peabody Library is the research library of John Hopkins University since 1982. Built in 1878, it was a part of a culture and arts institute. Fittingly described as a ‘cathedral of books’, reading in the spacious and cavernous room will make you feel monumental.
The collection there date back to 18th and 19th century with remarkable volumes on archaeology and 16th and 17th century manuscripts of literature. The cast iron railing is a distinct feature of the library.
4. Abbey Library of Saint Gall – St. Gallen, Switzerland
Founded in the 8th century, the Abbey Library is one of the oldest working libraries today. In 937 BCE a great fire has destroyed the Abbey, but the library was spared. The Convent of St. Gall, it’s library and monastery was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1983.
The spirits of the Benedictine monks are palpable even today when you enter the Seelenapotheke (heading place of the soul). Switzerland’s most beautiful Baroque Hall presently contains 170,000 books and 2100 manuscripts. The 2700 year old Egyptian mummy Shepenese is also found there.
5. Bodleian Library – UK
The oldest reading room in the Bodleian library is of Duke Humfrey’s who gifted 281 manuscripts and other ancient works to the library. The library contains a copy of the Gutenberg Bible (1455) and some of the rarest and most expensive books of the world like Shakespear’s Folio and The Bay Psalm Book.
There is an underground bookstore presently known as the Gladstone Link. In 1914, the library had more than a million texts and to safeguard each work, an underground space was excavated beneath the Radcliffe Square to become the biggest bookstore of the world.
Such libraries indeed give you a breathtaking experience of a lifetime!